Today we travelled South to the Sri Lankan city of Kandy, via the Golden Temple at Dambulla and a spice garden where they cultivate everything from cardamom to cocaine (and lots of things in between, including nutmeg and peppercorns, pictured below), and mash it all up into ayurvedic medicines presented alarmingly large bottles.
The Golden Temple was beautiful, and featured hundreds of icons of Buddha along with intricate cave paintings, having stood on this site since the first century BC!
We arrived at Kandy in the early afternoon, and after a predictably delicious, good value and extremely spicy local meal (I’m sure the food is getting hotter the further south we travel), we were on our way to the Udawattakele Nature Reserve, where we completed the 4km round-trip walk, passing troupes of monkeys and single trees with creepers spanning 2 hectares(!) but unfortunately without sight of the various small deer or birds sometimes visible from the trail.
We eschewed the Buddha’s Tooth Temple, one of Kandy’s main draws for tourists, being tired and overheated from the day, and headed for the hotel, which boasted spacious and clean rooms (ours contained four beds for some reason!) and cool terraces with panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.
In early evening we’d planned to head out for ice cream- having found Cool Corner on Tripadvisor rated as the number one place in Kandy for desserts thanks to its signature ‘fried ice cream’, we felt we had to give it a try. So we had ice cream for dinner, because we’re adults now and we can do what we want.…sorry mums, if you’re reading…
This style of ice cream, popular in east Asia, is made by pouring individual portions of sweetened milk mixture onto a supercooled metal plate, then scraping it off in curls before chopping and mixing in various other delicious ingredients and eventually reforming into scoops or curls to serve. Needless to say, after three scoops of chocolate-orange-Oreo-peanutty goodness for me, and five curls of chocolate-banana-peanut-buttery delight for Dev, plus a chocolate/macademia nut brownie to share, we were…satisfied. We were looked after wonderfully by the owner himself, who even let us scribble on his wall of ice cream-based wisdom!